After Patricia “Granny P” Crayton was disqualified from the Atlanta City Council’s District 3 special election due to a lack of valid petition signatures, she endorsed fellow candidate Matthew Charles Cardinale.
The election, set for March 19, is needed to fill the seat after Councilman Ivory Lee Young Jr., 56, died of cancer in November.
Cardinale and Crayton were among the 10 candidates who qualified for the race Jan. 23 through 25. They join Byron Amos, Ricky Brown, Antonio Brown, Greg Clay, Mesha Mainor, Jabari Simama and Shalise Young. Cardinale and Crayton announced the endorsement at a news conference Tuesday morning at City Hall.
“I’m just really moved and deeply appreciative,” he said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “I know that she is also very progressive. She previously ran (for the Atlanta Board of Education) as a Green Party candidate, so I felt like she and I have a lot of the same values. So I’m super excited to have her on the team.”
Also, Cardinale’s residency within the district has been challenged by Atlanta Municipal Court Clerk Foris Webb III, who oversees the city’s elections. Cardinale said he meets the requirements of living in the district for at least a year prior to qualifying (Jan. 23, 2018), but did not reside in the same home the entire time.
Cardinale has lived in District 3’s Hunter Hills community on Bernard Street since Feb. 14, 2018. From Jan. 14 to Feb. 14, 2018 (31 days), he lived in an Airbnb-rented apartment in Atlantic Station on 16th Street. When the two residencies are added together, they total just over a year in the district, he said.
“I received a letter of notification from … Webb on Tuesday of last week, and it stated he would be filing a complaint, a challenge, and that there was going to be an attached challenge. However, there was no attachment,” Cardinale said. “When I went down and asked for a copy of the challenge, he came down and was hot and bothered and said there was no attachment.
“The letter does not state the basis for his assertion that it does not appear that I satisfied the residency requirement. We don’t know what his issue is. We don’t know if it’s a question of law, a question of fact, whether more evidence is needed. I am scrambling in the dark to cover all of our bases. We have a lot of due process concerns. We have asked for his recusal because he’s both the antagonist and the judge and jury, which is not fair under any due process. So it’s really very odd. … But we’re proceeding.”
Cardinale said a hearing in scheduled for Feb. 13.
A special runoff election, if needed and very likely given the number of candidates, will be held April 16. For more information on the special election, visit https://bit.ly/2T08nf8.
An email to Webb seeking comment on the residency challenge was not immediately returned.